Family Dollar murder suspect arrested in Orlando - WFLA News Channel 8

Family Dollar murder suspect arrested in Orlando

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

An intense 7-day manhunt is over for the suspect wanted in the shooting death of a Tampa Family Dollar store manager.

"Demetrius Parks is in custody," announced Tampa Police spokeswoman Laura McElroy during a weekend press conference. "He is no longer a threat to our community."

7/15/2013 Related Story: Tampa police find car connected to Family Dollar murder

Police and the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force surprised the 23 year-old Parks as he road into Orlando on a Greyhound bus Saturday morning. They say he had been hiding out in Atlanta and was making his way back to Lakeland.

"As they boarded the bus, Parks jumped out an emergency exit window," McElroy said.

But there were police waiting for him there as well.

Investigators say Parks was robbing the Family Dollar store on the 4900 block of N 40th St. last Sunday when the store manager stepped in.

"He ran out to protect his co-worker and it cost him his life," McElroy said.

That manager was 49 year-old Horsley Shorter, Jr. Shorter had just retired from the U.S. Army after 26 years of service and came home to Tampa so he could take care of his elderly mother.

"I think Horsley Shorter led a good life and people were outraged to see someone take his life so senselessly," McElroy said. "It was certainly a ruthless crime in the true definition of being ruthless."

Investigators say community tips played a critical role in their investigation as billboard companies donated space to plaster Parks' photo across 30 signs in the area.

"I felt justice was done and they did a great job of capturing him; following him until the got him," said Betty Shorter, the victim's first cousin.

She said the last week has been nerve-racking as well as painful. The family is aware many have called Shorter a hero. Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor called him a pillar of the community.

"I would say that too because he was trying to help his friend and I believe his military action kicked in and he did the best he could," Betty Shorter said.

7/14/2013 Related Story: Tampa Police investigate robbery homicide at Family Dollar store

Parks is in the Hillsborough County jail and is facing a number of charges including first degree murder, robbery of $300 or more but less than $20,000, carjacking, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He's no stranger to law enforcement. Police said he has been arrested for 37 felonies and 25 misdemeanors during his lifetime.

There was a $16,000 dollar reward the U.S. Marshals, Family Dollar and CrimeStoppers offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction. McElroy said it was "good old fashioned police work" that led investigators to Atlanta and, therefore, it doesn't look like anyone is eligible for the reward at this time.

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